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I was never a sporty child or adult despite being a physiotherapist. I played bad tennis and badminton and looked after the family while my husband ran and played rugby. I started running gently myself to get fit for a long distance walk when I was 45. When I was 55 I ran the London Marathon and presumed that was my Everest and stopped. I was wrong. I am now 74 and over the last 6 years, after my husband retired late from playing rugby, we have run 12 marathons all over the world. This year we complete the 6 Majors by running Boston. Our friends and family think we are crazy but we have much fun on our long weekends out of country taking in museums, operas, concerts and then on a Sunday a whole city closes down for us to see the sights as we run. We clock up reasonable times between 5.30 and 5.45 and sometimes I am ahead and sometimes my husband. I even won a prize at the Rome marathon for being the first woman over 70 over the line.How do we do it? We have always kept fit and slim by walking and not eating too much. As one grows older we all lose muscle fibre, flexibility, balance and our joints may start to wear out. It is possible to slow this process by performing specific muscle strengthening exercises at home or in the gym and by walking rather than driving and using stairs rather than a lift. Flexibility, balance and core strength can be aided by Pilates type exercises. Those youngsters in the gym may be building big muscles but you are just trying not to lose yours. If you do not like the gym, stretchy bands and weights can be used at home. I advocate using the urban gym which is free. Always walk fast, walk up and down escalators, use the benches and rails in your local park for press ups and stand ups. Always walk short distances rather than wait for a bus if you have time. Dancing, cycling, tennis, badminton, bowls, golf etc can all be carried on for as long as we like. Starting Check with your doctor before you start. Begin with short distances. Walk with your new running shoes, suitable clothing, no bags and with your head held high. Think of your posture, head up, shoulders back and down, tummy in and off you go. Next walk for 10 steps then jog for ten steps for about 15 mins. As this becomes easier increase the number of jogs and the length of time. If you do not like going out on your own find a local running club and you will soon be ready to try the excellent Park Runs. How to prevent injuries It is important not to over-do it as we get older. Once you are up and running consider going faster and spending less time on your feet to keep off the joints. I only run 3 times a week. Do not stint on good shoes and always listen to your body when you have an injury. Small sprains and strains will usually respond to rest. Simple measures such as ice, bandage, pain killers and elevation can be done at home. More serious injuries of course should be taken to your doctor. The older we are, the more prone we are to tripping on uneven pavements and tree roots. Avoidance of running in the dark is a good idea. Never stretch cold muscles as you might see people do. The end of the run is the time to stretch then have a cool bath or shower. Marathon preparation We start to increase our running 14 weeks before a marathon. We will follow a programme and slowly increase our running distance each week until we have done 20 miles then taper off for a couple of weeks before the race. We think it quite normal to mix with 30,000 runners and we get plenty of cheers along the way. Get out there, enjoy yourselves; old age is much more enjoyable when you are fit. Jane Gibson Find a running injury specialist to help stay injury free at sportsinjuryfix.com

Running Marathons in your Seventies – it’s never too late Written February 2018

Mae bod wedi'ch anafu yn adeg rwystredig iawn, ac mae dod o hyd i'r person iawn i fwyhau'ch siawns o adferiad a'ch helpu i osgoi anaf yn bwysig iawn. Mae sportsinjuryfix.com yn caniatau ichi chwilio'r farchnad yn un lle a hyd yn oed chwilio am y rheini sy'n arbenigo yn eich camp neu anafiadau cysylltiedig. Nid oes angen dweud ei fod yn anhygoel o boblogaidd ac yn tyfu'n gyflym.Rydym yn gweithio yn ne Cymru ac u n ceisio dysgu Cymraeg felly byddwc h yn garedi os nad yw ein Cymraeg yn berffaith. 

Rhwystredigaeth Anafiadau Written February 2018

There is a World Cup happening in Manchester right now for one of the fastest growing sports in the world, Roller Derby. We caught up with one of Scotland's star players Shorty McLightning Pants, and yes nicknames are a feature of Roller Derby.Photo Credit: Anja Wettergren Who is Shorty McLightning Pants? My name is Zoe aka ‘Shorty McLightning Pants’ and I proudly skate for Team Scotland Roller Derby. This weekend is one of the biggest tournaments in the Roller derby calendar. It is the Roller Derby World Cup in Manchester where 38 women’s teams will fight it out to lift the trophy. I am super excited to represent my country at this amazing sporting event. This is the first time the world cup has been held outside the USA. It’s a big deal! What is Roller Derby? Roller Derby is a full-contact sport on wheels, played on a flat oval track. A team can consist of up to 14 players but on 5 on the track in any one jam. 1 jammer and 4 blockers. Here is an excellent breakdown of game play from the Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association. https://youtu.be/OId6gTd2LCMPhoto Credit: Paul Jones It’s really dangerous right? WRONG. Yes, we do hit each other at speed with full body, shoulder and hip checks but it is not a free for all. Each skater has to demonstrate high levels of athleticism, strategy and teamwork in order to win games. There is a strict rule set, legal target zones and a minimum crew of 18 officials who keep it calm and under control. How do you avoid injury?One of the best ways to prevent injury is fitness. Almost every skater I know supplements their on- skates training by hitting the gym at least once a week. The fitter you are, the less tired you are on track. Being aware means that you will make good choices on track. You won’t go in for a sloppy reckless hit, or if you are on the receiving end it means you are ready for it. I make sure I spend a good deal of time on my foam roller and use a lacrosse ball to get those knots out. I head to my physio for regular sports massage. When things get really gritty I get some needle work done to release all that tension in my back and hips. Big shout out to the guys at Physio Effect in Glasgow for keeping me right! See their Sports Injury Fix profile here.Where can I tune in? Come along and watch in person! https://rollerderbyworldcup.com/You can watch the Roller Derby World cup live here: https://www.rollerderbyworldcup.com/live/For the first time it will be featured on the BBC (Sunday only):  http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live/42683851

Roller Derby World Cup: Shorty McLightning Pants tells us all about it and how to stay injury free Written February 2018

Having been mobbed all day at the National Running Show with approx 2,000 plus visitors to the stand we found the time to formally interview 166 of them, complemented by hundreds of informal conversations, and the results were starker than we had predicted.Question 1: How easy is it to find good treatment?55% said it was hard or very hard to find good sports injury treatment and just 22% said it was easy or very easy.  There was a noticeable trend in that those who found it easy to find good treatment tended to be either a member of a larger running club with a long-established, trusted, relationship with a treatment provider or they worked in a medical profession themselves and were well connected. That it is not easy to find good treatment is one of the founding assumptions on which sportsinjuryfix.com was built and it is our mission to improve this.Question 2: How many treatment providers did you try before you found a good one?Only 6% said it was very easy to find good treatment and thus it's no surprise that the largest response to this question being that they’d tried a few and 36% were still looking. 74% had tried two or more treatment providers which quickly adds up in terms of time, money and frustration. Regular comments were “they talked in medical terms I didn’t understand”, “I felt like I was paying money for no improvement”, and “I’d see a short-term benefit but by the time of the next treatment it would be the same as it was”.  It was clear there was a desire to connect with the treatment provider and trust that they knew how to provide a solution. Question 3: How well do you understand the difference between the different professions i.e. physiotherapy, osteopathy, sports therapy etc?There was a fairly consistent spread of answers but by far and away the biggest category was ‘no idea’ with 34%. There tended to be a correlation with comments from those having the greatest understanding disclosing that they work in medically related professions. Next came more experienced runners who had suffered lots with injury and had tried a number of different providers. It tended to be the newer or more casual runners that had no idea of the differences. It is clear that there is work to be done to educate people, particularly less experienced runners on the options available to them when an inevitable injury occurs.  We have tried to work with industry associations to help provide explanations of the differences as listed in our blog section https://www.sportsinjuryfix.com/blog but not all have engaged so far. Question 4: How important is it that a treatment provider specialises in your sport and/or injury?The answers to these questions were very similar.  There is always a debate as to whether it matters if someone specialises in a sport or injury.  As long as they are trained to a high standard they will be able to help you, regardless of whether they specialise in your sport and/or injury, and if not then the good ones will be honest that they are unable to help provide advice as to who may be better able to help.  This may be true but what was incredibly clear from people is that the majority (over 60%) felt it was very important for a treatment provider to specialise/be very experienced in their sport or injury. The most common comment was “I’m fed up of being told not to run or that running is bad for you”.  Both injury and sports experience/specialism are fields within sportsinjuryfix.com and it highlights the importance of communicating experience in a language that patients understand. We were at the show providing advice, guidance and treatment  with 14 therapists who are members of Sports Injury Fix covering a range of professions and from the following brilliant companies:- AM Sports Therapy, Loughborough- Active Podiatry, Kent- Core Clinics, Warwick- Dynamic Osteopaths and Sports Injury and Performance Clinic, Henley in Arden- Ledbury Sports Massage, Ledbury- Star Medical Wilts in conjunction with Hartpury University- The Endurance Physio, Cowbridge, South Wales- Walk Specialist Footcare, Kent- West Berkshire Injury Clinic, Newbury Chairman of two industry associations, Martin Shaw from Institue of Chiropodists and Podiatrists and Gary Benson from Sports Therapy Association, attended too which provided further opportunity for learning from different professions and providing a great service to attendees of the show.We'll be back next year so come and say hello! In the meantime please follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix or facebook.

How easy is it to find good treatment? Lessons from the National Running Show Written January 2018

We were asked to write an article for the latest Podiatry Review that's just been released by the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists on the most frequent winter sports injuries with a focus on skiing and the lower limb.  The treatment options were then outlined by consultant podiatrist Mr Abid Ali.For similar requests please contact info@sportsinjuryfix.com

What are the most frequent winter sports injuries? Written January 2018

Who are you and where are you based? Amanda Oswald, a leading UK myofascial release specialist and owner of the Pain Care Clinic. Our clinics are located in Harley Street, London, Leeds, and Brighton. We specialise in the treatment of chronic pain conditions using myofascial release, and also run Living Pain Free workshops offering people self-help myofascial stretches, exercises and advice. I'm also the author of Living Pain Free: Healing Chronic Pain with Myofascial Release.   What are the most common sports related injuries you see? We see and treat a whole range of injuries and chronic pain conditions in our clinics, and often our clients turn to us when they have not been able to get the treatment they need from other therapies. Some of the most common sports related conditions we treat include rotator cuff and shoulder injuries such as frozen shoulder; back pain; tendinitis conditions such as tennis elbow or runners knee; hip pain; and plantar fasciitis. We also specialise in the treatment of pain caused by scar tissue, as this responds well to myofascial release. What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury? Stretch! Many of the people we see don’t stretch enough, if at all. And many of them are using short, muscle stretches which have no effect on stuck fascia. As the main connective tissue in the body, fascia wraps around and through everything else including muscles, nerves, blood vessels, bones and organs. When it is working normally, fascia moves freely as we move, however, when fascial restrictions develop, such as sports injuries, this creates a snag in the fascial system which can cause pain that is often referred to elsewhere in the body and can worsen over time if not treated. We therefore teach our clients fascial stretching which is much slower and more progressive than muscle stretches, and therefore has a more lasting benefit. If you regularly make time for just 20-30 minutes of self-myofascial release a day, you will start to feel the benefits of a healthier more balanced body which is less prone to injury. Are there any ways that people can speed up their recovery? As above, even if you are recovering from an injury, there are many self-help techniques which can help your body to rebalance and regain fitness. We teach our clients self-myofascial release techniques using specially designed myofascial balls. We prefer to use these as they are designed to help release stuck fascia and are therefore more versatile (and less painful) than other products such as foam rollers.  When it comes to fascia, the old sporty adage ‘no pain, no gain’ doesn’t apply! Fascia responds best to slow, progressive work. What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider? If anyone has an injury or chronic pain condition, they need the reassurance that their therapist understands what is wrong with them and knows how to help. Many people we see have been through the medical mill – they have seen doctors, specialists, had many diagnostic tests, have been prescribed medication and even had surgery. When their pain persists, they are often told there is nothing wrong with them (because fascial restrictions don’t show up on MRI scans and X-Rays) and told they have to live with their pain. This is obviously not helpful and can be frustrating. In these instances what people need is a soft tissue specialist (whether it is massage, myofascial release or another hands-on therapy). Ask your therapist about your specific injury or condition, what their understanding is, have they treated it before and how, and what sort of self-care advice they can provide. Expect to commit to a programme of about 6 regular treatment sessions, and also commit to following the self-care advice you are given. In return, you should start to feel a lasting improvement by the end of your treatment programme, and can then discuss with your therapist how best to proceed.View Pain Care Clinic's profile on Sports Injury Fix here    Amanda Oswald - Owner of Pain Care Clinics

How To Reduce The Risk Of Injury And Speed Up Recovery - Sports Injury Q&A with Amanda Oswald from Pain Care Clinic Written January 2018

The National Running Show is taking place at the NEC Birmingham 20-21 January and we’re excited that SportsInjuryFix will be there with a number of our members offering advice, guidance and treatment. Come along and say hello.Free tickets: You can save yourself a tenner by getting free tickets here before 20th December.

National Running Show - Announcement and free tickets Written December 2017

Who are you and where are you based?My name is Tim Veysey-Smith. I am a Sports Podiatrist and trail runner specialising in the treatment of running injuries based in the Weald of Kent, England.What are the most common sports-related injuries you see?As I specialise in treating runners, I see a lot of running related injuries! The majority of these are caused by overuse, or ‘too much too soon’. The most common injuries I see among runners are Plantar fasciitis, Achilles Tendinopathy, Shin Splints, Calf muscle strains and Forefoot pain.What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury?For runners, 2 or 3 sessions of strength and conditioning per week can reduce your risk of injury by as much as 50%! Simple body weight exercises such as squats, lunges and heel raises can be done quickly at home and are a good start. Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery?Do your rehabilitation exercises and don’t rush back too early. Recovery from injury is a process and you can’t shortcut Mother Nature. The good news is that it is usually possible to cross train in order to maintain your aerobic fitness so you don’t lose out too much during recovery.  What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider?Obviously make sure your therapist is registered with a recognised professional body, such as the Health and Care Professions Council. It is also an advantage if your therapist has an interest in and understanding of the sport you are involved in. For example as a runner myself I can empathise with runners when they get injured and am able to give specific advice and treatment based on my knowledge of the sport. View the profile of Active Podiatry here

How To Reduce The Risk of injury And Speed Up Recovery - Sports Injury Q&A with Tim Veysey-Smith from Active Podiatry Written December 2017

The Advertising Standards Authority recently released new guidance which has led to some debates as to whether chiropractic can help with sports injuries and whether chiropractors are able to list their services on a website such as SportsInjuryFix.com.  The simple answer is yes, but with some caveats.The British Chiropractic Association told us: Chiropractors can advertise to treat sport injuries but the claims have to comply with the guidance. Putting "minor" before sports injuries is compliant. Advertising on a sports injury website is no problem as long as there is no implication that chiropractors can treat more serious sports injuries. The General Chiropractic Council told us: The GCC is unable to act in an advisory capacity, firstly, for the reason that, as a regulator, we have a duty to remain impartial and also because we do not set advertising guidelines but issue guidance in line with the governing body (the ASA).  Our guidance is based on the ASA guidelines.The formal view from the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) and the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) is as follows:The ASA and the CAP have seen evidence sufficient to support claims that chiropractic can help with a range of problems which may arise from sports injury. However, there are many conditions which may be caused by such injuries for which the ASA/CAP have not seen evidence. Chiropractors may claim that chiropractic can help with minor sports injuries and with specific conditions (for which the ASA/CAP have seen evidence of efficacy) which may be caused by sports injuries, including highlighting that those problems may arise from sports injury.Problems which may arise from sports injury which chiropractors may claim chiropractic can help with (‘acceptable conditions’):Joint painsGeneral aches and pain, including those of joints, muscle spasms and crampCervicogenic headacheRotator cuff injuries, diseases or disorders; soft tissue disorders of the shoulder; shoulder complaints, dysfunction, disorders and painShort-term management of ankle sprains and plantar fasciitisElbow pain and tennis elbow arising from associated musculoskeletal conditions of the back and neck (but not isolated occurrences)Claims relating to sports injuries are unlikely to mislead if:Generalised claims that chiropractic can help “sports injuries” are qualified to either:a) Make clear that chiropractic cannot help with all conditions caused by sports injuries (e.g. “we treat minor sports injuries / we treat some sport injuries”); orb) Refer to specific problems which the ASA/CAP accept chiropractic can help withExplicit or implied treatment claims (including through symptoms referred to) are restricted to those which the ASA/CAP accept chiropractic can help withThey describe methods of diagnosis and treatment that a chiropractor uses for injuries sustained during sporting activitiesThey give details of the specific qualifications or experience in this area of the chiropractor/s whose services are advertised.The full ASA guidance can be found here.If you have any questions or comments about this we'd love to hear from you at info@sportsinjuryfix.com of twitter @SportsInjuryFix

Can Chiropractors treat sports injuries? Written November 2017

Who are you and where are you based?Virginia Williams Physiotherapy based at the Llandaff Clinic, Llandaff North, Cardiff.What are the most common sports-related injuries you see?The most common sports-related injuries I see are ankle ligament strainsWhat's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury?Injuries often happen through pushing the body too hard, therefore, aim to get fit to play your sport. Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery?Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE) for 48 hours following the injury is a good way to speed up recovery. Ice packs/frozen peas etc should be wrapped in a tea towel to avoid burns to the skin and applied for approx 15 minutes every 2-3 hours.  What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider?You should always make sure your physio is chartered and state registered. 

Reduce The Risk of Injury & Speed Up Recovery - Sports Injury Q&A with Virginia Williams Physiotherapy, Cardiff Written November 2017

Who are you and where are you based? We are Brighton Physiotherapy Clinic. We are based in Kemptown in Brighton, just south of the County Hospital. We also have a base in Hove at a residential address near Hove Park. We are mainly Musculoskeletal Outpatients physiotherapists but between us we are able to cover pregnancy and post natal related pains and injuries, child and adolescent musculoskeletal pains and injuries. We all participate in different sports and activities so we have a wide range of knowledge within most sports. For example, Tina (Lead Physiotherapist) worked and lived out in the French Alps for 5 years and has a very good understanding and knowledge of ski & snowboard related injuries. Claire, another of our physiotherapists is currently undertaking a course in yoga for physiotherapists. What are the most common sports related injuries you see?We get a lot of running injuries, especially around the time of the marathons. Lots of knee problems, often related to poor stretching and weak gluteals. We have a steady stream of low back and neck pains from the ever increasing desk and computer work.What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury?Top tip: Stretch everyday! Not first thing when you wake up, allow your body to warm up a little first but then you can stretch at anytime during the day. It is most beneficial after you have been doing exercise but as long as you spend some time to stretch before you go to bed, it is still beneficial. Don’t rush! Take your time to hold your stretches. Most people stretch for such a short period of time, there is not much benefit to doing the stretch.Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery? If you think you have an injury that will not recover quickly on its own, make sure you go to see a physiotherapist as soon as you can. The quicker we can see you and assess you, the quicker we can treat the injury and give you advice on how to manage it yourself at home. The longer you leave it, the more chronic the injury may become and the longer recovery time. Listen to your physiotherapist and ask all the questions you need to understand your injury and recovery. Knowledge is Power! We also have links with a nutritionist who specialises in tissue repair and injury recovery for anyone that wants to use their diet to help speed up their recovery.What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider?When choosing a treatment provider, make sure that all the physiotherapists are registered with the HCPC and the CSP. These are the governing bodies of our profession. They make sure that all physiotherapists continue to study, attend courses and are up to date with their training, making sure that we use evidence based practice and that we do not become stagnant with our treatments. The ethos of physiotherapists is to treat and manage a patients injury or pain, supply knowledge, advice and an understanding of their injury, and rehabilitate the patient so that the injury does not reoccur. You can view the profile of Brighton Physiotherapy Clinic on SportsInjuryFix here.Follow us on twitter @SportsInjuryFix

How to reduce the risk of injury and speed up recovery - Sports Injury Q&A with Brighton Physiotherapy Clinic Written October 2017

Who are you and where are you based?Judy Hattle of Carlisle Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic.  We are based in the centre of the City of CarlisleWhat are the most common sports related injuries you see?The most common sports injury that we see are ligament injuries to the knee closely followed by ankle sprainsWhat's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury?The tips for reducing your injury risk is: wear suitable/correct footwear for the sport, warm up properly and use good technique Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery?  The rate of recovery is fairly standard for all of us but you can improve the conditions for healing by RICE (rest, ice compression and elevation) and then regaining the full range of mobility in the part affected. Return to activity should be graduatedWhat should people look for when choosing a treatment provider? Choose a practitioner with a good general and sports injury experience.Further information can be found on Judy and the Carlisle Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic on their SportsInjuryFix.com profile here

Sports Injuries Q&A with Judy Hattle from Carlisle Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic Written October 2017

Who are you and where are you based? I am Doug Plunkett, senior therapist at Moveology™. We Specialise in helping clients out of pain by getting their bodies back to centre again and our tag line is 'Improvement Through Movement™'We use a mixture of traditional and latest techniques, using gait analysis and pressure plate technologies. Our client base tends to be both ahtletes and non-athletes who have been suffering chronic pain that traditional treatments can only ease temporarily. What are the most common sports related injuries you see?We see a whole range of injuries at our clinics from falls, impact and postural issues to all manner of sports injuries. I think one of the most common has to be lower back pain/injury. The usual reason is lack of activation/strength in the glutes causing compensation issues elsewhere. After lower back I would say we have a lot of shoulder and calf injuries, mainly due to overuse in swimmers and runners.What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury?My top tip has to visit a recommended sports massage therapist at least once a month to stop any 'niggles' developing into injuries that could lead to having to take time out from training. Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery?  To help speed up your recovery there are several things an athlete can do. Immediately after training (30mins after max) take on some carbs and protein to help refuel and repair tired and torn muscles. Also get your self a good sports massage a couple of days after a hard training day or race. Finally, practice a good cool down/stretch protocol. You may also want to look into taking up Pilates or yoga to help with core stability and flexibility.What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider?You should look for someone who comes recommended and is into the same sport as you are firstly. Once you found someone you then want to check out qualifications and industry bodies they maybe affiliated with.

How to reduce the risk of injury and speed up recovery by Doug Plunkett, Moveology. Written October 2017

In our latest guest blog on SportsInjuryFix.com experienced endurance athlete Matthew Dawes gives us his tips for how to go long, have fun and avoid injury:I've been lucky. Over the last 10 yrs I've completed 22 Ironman triathlons (including the World Championships in Hawaii), the Marathon des Sables and a few marathons.  Some were fast, some slow but I've loved every one.  Not always during, and not always on the finish line. But pretty soon afterwards...In my spare time I have a full time job and a pre-school daughter.Impossible to do all of that without "managing through" a few injuries. As I started with, I've been lucky and avoided anything serious. But I think I've also set about things sensibly.My top tips:  1. Respect running. You can build your engine on the bike and swimming is great rehab. Don't try to "run through" injuries. I've had great races on very limited run training. 2. Value Rehab. Structured work to address injuries is a great focus and surprisingly hard work. I have taken stuff I like from rehab into my regular routine. Come back slowly, and stay back! 3. Strength & Conditioning - do it! This is not an optional extra. Just find a handful of exercises that work for you (target any specific weakness - I do a lot of ankle work...) and fit them in after other workouts. 4. Rest and time are the Great Healers. Not for everything, of course. But in my experience many niggles will go away if you allow yourself a little space. Unless you are an Olympic athlete, there IS always next year... 5. Enjoy your sport and make it an integral part of your normal life. Many people give up their lives to do an Ironman. You shouldn't! It almost certainly takes less training than you think. If you just weave in more exercise into your general routine, you're much more likely to carry on after "the Race". And if, horror of horrors, you do get injured, it's not the catastrophe it is for some.Above all, just keep moving forward with a smile... Matt

Endurance: How to go long, have fun and avoid injury by Matthew Dawes Written September 2017

Andy from YourPerfectPractice recently wrote this blog that we thought would be helpful to our therapist members, plus it says nice things about SportsInjuryFix which we always appreciate! Marketing for therapists: Who do you want to attract to your business?For many private therapy business owners marketing is considered essential to growth and survival but also considered time consuming and daunting. This combination can lead to poor marketing and brand image.The aim of marketing is to attract the specific client who you most like to work with. This means sitting down to analyse a “persona” of your ideal client.Their demographic, type of injury history, age, income etc. Then you need to consider how to attract these perfect clients to your business. How does your brand reflect you? Is that what these clients are looking for? The key is taking the time to understand what your clients want, why they want it and make sure you can provide it.It’s about expectation matching.With the modern world of internet, Dr Google and social media it is a lot more accessible to find these people if you have the correct messaging and approach.For example, if you think you’re great at treating  sports injuries from ankle sprains, knee ligament injuries to post-surgical rehabilitation then you need to consider who are these people. Importantly you need to consider where they “hang out” for advice or what they search for in Google (or Bing etc). Taking the time to make sure your website and social media is clear how you can help your ideal client and then identifying how you can be seen by this audience is essential if you want to be successful.On my market research, I came across SportsInjuryFix.com. This is a site where you can register your company details for free and they are doing the hard work to attract your ideal audience for you. This is cost and time effective. This site is full of businesses all over the UK looking for their ideal clients. The private therapy market is one of the fastest growing market worldwide. More people are understanding the need to exercise more which, combined with the growing and ageing population, leads to stress on the MSK NHS services thus increasing the demand for private services.So how can YOU stand out?One way is taking the time to get your messaging right when your perfect client does find you. There is no point identifying who you want to work with, taking the time to register with sites like www.sportinjuryfix.com, then do a half bothered attempt to educate these perfect clients about how YOU can help benefit THEM.When I spoke with founder of the site he said some people didn’t even take the extra minute to fully complete their details, leaving an incomplete profile that misses the opportunity of creating the best impression, well WOW!!!If you want to be successful in a growing and crowded market you NEED to do yourself justice. You need to highlight WHY you are the correct business for this client. Lack of time may well be a factor for you but an extra 5 minutes to re-read or to re consider your messaging and content can be well worth the return on investment.  Rushed or incomplete marketing can have the opposite effect to what you intended.If you already are working hard towards your dream goal of having a successful and profitable private therapy business don’t let yourself down by laziness or lack of effort with your marketing.If in doubt ask….Hope this helps.ThanksAndy Founder of

Marketing for therapists: Who do you want to attract to your business? Written September 2017

Who are you and where are you based?Jeremy Burton, Registered osteopath, BSc (Hons) Osteopathy, based in High Street Kensington, London and Enfield.  We specialise in Active Release Techniques (ART), Functional Range Release/Conditioning and Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) as well as being a Titleist Medical Professional level 2.What are the most common sports related injuries you see?Spine including neck and shoulder problems.What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury?Move well and move often. To have good range and control of motion throughout the body.Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery?Use a system such as the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) and Functional Range Conditioning (FRC)What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider?A combination of excellent treatment skills, diagnostic skills, communication skills and rehab/exercise skills. Click here to see the profile for Jeremy Burton on Sports Injury Fix

Jeremy Burton's top tip for reducing the risk of injury Written September 2017

This is a regular feature of introducing some of our businesses and sharing their top tips on sports injuries, recovery and finding treatmentWho are you and where are you based?Apps Physiotherapy is a small clinic in Romford with just myself currently running and treating patients for physiotherapy. I am the lead physio - Sophie Apps.What are the most common sports related injuries you see?I see a range of MSK and sports conditions, with special interest in runners, cyclist and triathletes, so injuries are anything from overuse, repetitive based injuries, one off crashes and post surgery rehabilitation.What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury?This would be to utilise regular strength and conditioning exercises throughout your training, and if you suspect something is up. then get it checked sooner rather than later.Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery?You can't cheat natural biology, but there ways to help make the process of returning to sport easier; continue cardio work where possible to avoid the deficit you will naturally have when you are injured. Keep a positive attitude throughout an injury - it does the world of good when it's time for your body to return to the sport you love.What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider?Check the provider's history, what qualifications they have and how long they have been working in the industry, do they specialise in anything and is this backed up by extra qualifications etc. For Physios make sure they are HCPC registered and insured. Don't see anyone who isn't.Click here to see the profile for Apps Physiotherapy on Sports Injury Fix

Sports Injury Q&A with Apps Physiotherapy Written June 2017

This is a regular feature of introducing some of our businesses and sharing their top tips on sports injuries, recovery and finding treatmentWho are you and where are you based? Pete Lion, Sport Physiotherapist and Director of One Physiotherapy, Madejski Stadium, Reading.  We specialise in:PhysiotherapySports PhysiotherapySports MassageAcupunctureClinical PilatesStrength and Conditioning HydrotherapyHand and Upper Limb TherapyHigh Level RehabilitationWhat are the most common sports related injuries you see?We see a range of sports injuries ranging from knee and back pain to post-operative knee, ankle and shoulder problems. We specialise in taking people back to performing at their best.What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury?Be aware of your training load and how you progress. You want to get stronger and fitter as fast as you can without increasing the risk of injury. We can help guide this progression.Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery?Be thorough in your rehabilitation and take an active role. Understand your injury and the things that aggravate it and those that help you get better.What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider?Someone with good clinical experience who has ideally undertaken further Masters Degree level study. Most of all someone who listens to your story and your understanding of your injury and makes the rehab process relevant to you. There should be a focus on what you can do, not what you can't do. Click here to see the profile for One Physiotherapy on Sports Injury Fix

How to avoid injury or recover quickly. Top tips from Pete Lion of One Physiotherapy. Written April 2017

This is a regular feature of introducing some of our businesses and sharing their top tips on sports injuries, recovery and finding treatment.Who are you and where are you based? We are NM Sports Therapy Clinic based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. We specialise in sports injury management, using a whole body approach with our mission 'getting you back to where you want to be'.What are the most common sports related injuries you see?We see a lot of ankle, knee, hip, shoulder and lower back injuries, from a large variety of sports along with a great deal of non-sport related postural and musculoskeletal issues.What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury?Our biggest injury prevention tip is to learn a little about how your body works. Everyone is different in their own special ways - that works on a musculoskeletal level too.  Whether you need more mobility or you need to strengthen certain areas to help YOU prevent injury. All of our therapists will educate you, as much or as little as you feel you need during treatments so that you can look after yourself and help self-prevent injuries.Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery?Biggest tip to speed up recovery:  Don't put off seeing your Sports Therapist! There are always things you can do to help recovery right from the initial injury. Secondly, be true to yourself and your therapist, normally exercise therapy will be set as take home which is put in place to get you back to where you wannt to be, whether thats your goal of being pain free in general movement, or to be pain free, returned to your sport at the best you can be!What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider?If you can get a personal recommendation for a clinic or practitioner - you will then get an honest representation of that practitioner. If you don't have any recommendations - look at whether they are a member of governing body or industry association. I am a member of The Society of Sports Therapists. Then look at experience - do they know your sport? If you're not sure, contact them - most practices will have an email or telephone consultation with you to find out if their practice is the right place for you. If you're not sure? ASK!Click here to see the profile for NM Sports Therapy on Sports Injury Fix.

Sports Injury Tips from NM Sports Therapy Written April 2017

This is a regular feature of introducing some of our businesses and sharing their top tips on sports injuries, recovery and finding treatment.Who are you and where are you based? Physio-Answers - 3 clinics1) Leyton London - specialising in hypermobility syndrome, shoulder injuries (volleyball) and football injuries2) Lewisham London - specialising in marathon running and open water swimming related injuries3) Southend-on-Sea - speicalising in hypermobility syndrome, skiing and horse riding injuriesWhat are the most common sports related injuries you see?Knee from skiing and football-meniscus, ACL and back pain-from all sportsWhat's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury?Have good core stabilityAre there any ways people can speed up their recovery?Get Physio attention as soon as possible after the injury - so you rehab it correctly from the very startWhat should people look for when choosing a treatment provider?Experience and a therapist that provides information of HOW treatment will help themClick Leyton, Lewisham or Southend to see the profiles for the Physio Answers clinics.

Sports injury tips from Physio Answers Written March 2017

This is a regular feature of introducing some of our businesses and sharing their top tips on sports injuries, recovery and finding treatment.Who are you and where are you based?Jon. Leigh, Registered Osteopath from the Gillingham Clinic of Complementary MedicineWhat are the most common sports related injuries you see?Football injuries, Rugby injuries, weight lifting injuries, cycling injuries.What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury?Warm-up correctly and warm down correctly. Do not strain.Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery?Take the advice of a knowledgeable practitioner and do not rush your recovery.What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider?A fully qualified professional, who has knowledge and experience.Click here to see the profile for Jon at Gillingham Clinic for Complementary Medicine

Sports Injury Tips from Jon Leigh, Osteopath at Gillingham Clinic of Complementary Medicine Written March 2017

This is a regular feature of introducing some of our businesses and sharing their top tips on sports injuries, recovery and finding treatment.Who are you and where are you based?I'm Sara Green a graduate sports therapist located in Aylesford village,  Kent. I specialise in sports injuries. What are the most common sports related injuries you see?As I work in rugby I often see hamstring strains and ankle sprains. With runners lots of Itb/hip stability issues.What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury?Top tip is to warm up - always. Preferably with dynamic stretching and 5-10 min of light cardio.Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery?Sports massage either with a therapist or self massage with a foam roller can help speed up recovery. Also a quick dip (10 min) in an ice bath.What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider?Look for someone who works in or is active in sport. They'll not only understand biomechanics but also the demands even everyday athletes put themselves under.Click here to see the profile for Sara at Prestige Sport Injury Clinic

Sports Injury Tips From Sara at Prestige Sport Injury Clinic Written March 2017

This is the first in a regular feature of introducing some of our businesses and sharing their top tips on sports injuries, recovery and finding treatment.Who are you and where are you based?My name is Bob Allen, my business is Sollus Healthcare and I am an osteopath based at the Chris Moody Centre in Moulton, Northampton which is a specialist sports injury and rehabilitation centre.  I specialise in treating sports injuries, posture related problems and workstation assessments.What are the most common sports related injuries you see?The type of injury that I see relates to the sport so with runners or keen walkers I see a lot of knee and ITB problems, powerlifters, swimmers and Wheelchair basketball players it’s low back and shoulders  What's your top tip for reducing the risk of injury?I always advise my clients with lower limb problems to do dynamic warm ups and post event stretching and anyone with upper body problems to improve spinal mobility.Are there any ways people can speed up their recovery?I have found that managing their expectations is the best way to speed up recovery. Athletes always want to get back to their sport asap and don’t always give themselves sufficient time to recover which can mean they are out for even longer. They should listen to their therapist and stick to the rehab plan – Pain is not their friend.What should people look for when choosing a treatment provider?The best advice I can give is to speak to the treatment provider, explain the problem and listen to their answers. If they can give you a good, easy to understand, explanation of what your problem is and how they intend to resolve it that is a good sign. If they try to baffle you with science and meaningless jargon then probably best to walk away. The other thing is whether you like and trust them because if you don’t it’s going to be a very long recovery period.Click here to see the profile for Sollus Healthcare

Sports injury tips from Sollus Healthcare Written March 2017

There are lots of articles that tell you that strength work is beneficial for you but what impact does it have on reducing sports injuries and how can you find time for it?The challenge is that there are many variables to reducing sports injuries including technique and training load. Strength training is just one element but the evidence points to it being beneficial and there are simple ways to incorporate it that don’t involve going to the gym or replacing one of your runs.One of the most quoted studies is that of Lauersen et al. 2013  who did a systematic review of the benefits of strength training amongst 26,610 participants. The studies covered a range of sports rather than any being solely focussed on running alone but found that strength training reduced overuse injuries by almost 50% and sports injuries to less than a third.The challenge is that everyone is different and depending on how you run and your physiology there are different people who will need to strengthen different areas. The key is to get a balanced strength programme and the best is the one you have time to do which is why short bodyweight workouts less than 15 minutes long such as this one here are perfect. Given the potential benefits it’s surely worth a try to see what impact it has for you? You can search for a specialist to help tailor you a routine here or why not try this free 30 day challenge that’s only 10-15 mins a day and see how you get on?  The creator of the programme is James Dunne who coaches runners and triathletes and he told SportsInjuryFix that just a few minutes invested in strength, stability and mobility work a few times per week will help any runner prevent injury and build consistency in their training. It’s this consistency that allows us in-time to run faster for longer. 

Should you be doing strength work to reduce your risk of injury? Written January 2017

Sports massage is the management, manipulation and rehabilitation of soft tissues of the body including muscles, tendons and ligaments. It is commonly also referred to as soft tissue therapy and is beneficial for people wanting to recover from a soft tissue injury or guard against one. Sports massage helps identify and loosen areas of tightness helping to stop them developing into injuries. It can improve the recovery from injury by helping to relieve muscle tension, reduce soreness and stress and is an area where regularity may help. The more often you go to a sports massage therapist the more impact they can have through learning your body and knowing where to focus. It may also improve joint flexibility and mobility and reduce the risk of injury during exercise. For example a study in the journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in 2010 found improved hip-flexor range of motion even from a 30 second massage. Sports massage is regulated on a voluntary basis rather than by legal statute which means that the title sports massage is not protected, so it is worth checking the credentials of the person you are seeing to ensure they are a member of an industry association such as the Sports Massage Association (SMA). Paul Medlicott the Chair of the SMA says "The Sports Massage Association sets education standards for their members that help to ensure clients receive the most appropriate treatment for their personal requirements."Find the right sports massage therapist for you at SportsInjuryFix.com

What is Sports Massage and how can it help treat and prevent sports injuries? Written December 2016

Chiropractors are trained to diagnose, treat, manage and prevent disorders of the musculoskeletal system as well as the effects these disorders can have on the nervous system and general health. The musculoskeletal system incorporates your bones, joints and muscles. Chiropractors’ specialist interest is neck and back pain, focussing on the health of the spine, however this involves understanding and assessing the entire physical wellbeing of the patient to fix the cause rather than just treat the symptoms.Chiropractors use a range of safe, often gentle techniques to reduce pain, improve function and increase mobility.  Such techniques include hands-on manipulation of the spine, ultrasound, acupuncture, tailored exercises and advice on posture and lifestyle changes.  Specific spinal manipulation can free joints in the spine or other areas of the body that are not moving properly.Although chiropractors are best known for treating back and neck pain, which they do very well, patients also consult chiropractors regarding a range of other, related conditions and they have a longstanding history of treating musculoskeletal sports injuries.As a regulated industry then in order to call themselves a chiropractor someone has to be trained to degree level on an approved course and registered with the General Chiropractic Council. Their role is to protect the public through setting and ensuring high standards of practice for chiropractors, keeping a register and dealing with complaints. Many Chiropractors also join an association such as the British Chiropractic Association which serves to develop, progress and represent members’ needs and interests.The British Chiropractic Association says “Chiropractic can be an excellent treatment option for sports injuries and pain. When sportspeople are unable to improve no matter how much hard work they put in, chiropractic treatment can also aid them in exceeding their ability threshold. Treatment is often followed by a rehabilitation plan which may help to strengthen the injured area, improve your flexibility and help to prevent future problems. It can also increase your control, co-ordination and muscle strength. Many top sports teams therefore employ a BCA chiropractor as part of their medical care provision. Importantly, chiropractors will always do a detailed examination of your health before treatment to ensure that chiropractic care is appropriate for your condition.” Find your nearest chiropractor hereLike us on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix

What is Chiropractic? How can a Chiropractor treat & help prevent sports injuries? Written December 2016

An Osteopath can help improve performance as well as treat the injuries being suffered.  By using their knowledge of diagnosis and highly developed palpatory skills they can help to restore structural balance, improve joint mobility and reduce adhesions and soft tissue restrictions so that ease of movement is restored and performance enhanced.  For those into sports, an Osteopath can help you keep supple and improve muscle tone reducing the risk of injury to soft tissues unaccustomed to the extra work they are being asked to do. Advice on diet and exercise which will help you with your specific sport may also be offered. To qualify, an Osteopath must study for four to five years for an undergraduate degree. This is similar to a medical degree, with more emphasis on anatomy and musculoskeletal medicine and includes more than 1,000 hours of training in osteopathic techniques. By law, Osteopaths must register with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) which sets competency, conduct and safety standards and promotes them.  It is an offence for anyone to call themselves an Osteopath if they are not registered with the GOsC.The Institute of Osteopathy, the professional body for osteopaths in the UK says; “Osteopaths provide a personal and effective approach to the care for sports people competing at both an amateur or professional level.  We are seeing increasing numbers of osteopaths working at the highest level of elite sports, including at the recent Olympics and at many professional sports clubs.  So whether you are a professional or weekend runner, your osteopath can provide the highest quality of advice and care to enable you to enjoy your sport!” There is also the Osteopathic Sports Care Association and their chairman Simeon Milton describes their role as "OSCA has worked for 20 years to provide routes into sports for Osteopaths by way of advance clinical practice/mentoring, education and promotion of Osteopathic Sports Care for amateur through to elite level."Find your nearest Osteopath at www.sportsinjuryfix.comLike us on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix

What is Osteopathy and how can an Osteopath treat and help prevent sports injuries? Written November 2016

Starting and running a practice can be tough when you just want to concentrate on treating patients. Thankfully there are lots of free resources out there such as SportsInjuryFix.com that can help. The Private Practice Hub helps therapists and coaches to start and grow their business. Their website is packed full of useful articles about finance, marketing, business plans, coaching, online therapy, software, professional issues and more. You can find CPD events and training on the events database, read reviews of software for therapists, watch live or pre-recorded webinars and workshops on the PPH TV channel, find therapy rooms to rent, and download free business templates. You can also access special offers from businesses providing services to therapists. Geoff Simons, the founder of The Private Practice Hub says " we are committed to helping practitioners face new challenges such as online therapy and the use of technology such as apps and practice management software.It’s the only website in the UK offering such a comprehensive package of business advice for private practitioners – absolutely free!" Visit www.privatepracticehub.co.uk to find out more. Like SportsInjuryFix on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix

Free help to start and grow your business Written November 2016

If there is no improvement in your injury then this is a time for patience and honesty. We all want to get healed instantly but ask yourself these five questions:1) Is it time to get some help?If you've been treating yourself and are seeing no improvement you really should seek the help of a professional.2) Have you been doing the rehabilitation exercises you've been given?As frustrating as it can sometimes feel doing rehabilitation exercises there is a reason to them. If you're not doing them correctly and thus not giving your body a chance to recover you can't blame the specialist.3) Have you got frustrated and pushed a bit harder or gone quicker because it felt good but that's aggravated the injury afterwards?On the road to recovery there will be times when we notice an improvement and get a bit carried away. Patience is key so, although it's frustrating, focus on the long term and don't risk aggravating the injury. 4) Are things progressing in line with what the therapist told you?We would all love an instant fix but sadly it does take time and hard work to recover. If you are progressing in line with the treatment providers expectations then that is a good thing. 5) Have you told the treatment provider how you feel?Communication is key. A therapist can only learn so much by feel and the more you have a two way dialogue the easier it will be to get to the root cause of the problem. Everyone is different so if you're finding one set of exercises isn't working then tell the therapist so they can try something else.Having said all that sometimes things just don't work out and for whatever reason you have no improvement with that therapist or you just don't feel it's working out. Do not be scared to have this conversation and most therapists will be happy to recommend a different approach to take or refer you to someone else. Alternatively use Sports Injury Fix to find someone else. Whatever your experience of a therapist please leave a review on SportsInjuryFix.com to help others in your situation. Like us on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix

What if there is no improvement in my injury after receiving treatment? Written October 2016

It is a fact that people that play sport, whether it's professional or amateur experience a higher amount of foot related injuries. Jumping, sprinting, twisting and the impact of collisions serve to increase pressure on the foot by as a much as three to seven times body weight.Chiropodists and podiatrists,  specialise in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of the lower limb and understand sports injuries.Feet play an important role in the biomechanics of the body and problems here can manifest themselves as pain elsewhere. Chiropodists and podiatrists are specialists in biomechanics and through assessments and gait analysis they can identity problems and develop tailored treatment and rehabilitation strategies. In the UK there is no difference between the terms chiropodist and podiatrist.  In many other English-speaking countries, however, only the term ‘podiatrist’ is employed and this refers to the fully-trained professional. The terms chiropodist and podiatrist are protected terms meaning they can only be used by an individual registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) which regulates 16 different professions.Each profession regulated by the HCPC has at least one professional body and/or association who do work such as promoting the profession, education and training, representing members and continuing professional development. For example the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (IOCP) was formed in 1955 having been renamed from the former organisation est. 1938. It's members have to adhere to a strict code of professional conduct providing greater peace of mind as to who you are seeing. When this article was discussed with the IOCP they provided the following comment. "It is a priority of the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists that our members adhere to our code of conduct and that we are able to provide our members with the support they require, through ongoing training, peer discussion and education to continue their professional development. Ensuring that the latest treatments and the greatest care is being provided. It is also our mission to inform the public and sportspeople of ways in which podiatrists can provide treatment and information on all medical problems of the feet, as well as showing ways to manage foot health and how to prevent common problems or injury."Find the best treatment provider for you at www.sportsinjuryfix.comLike us on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix

What is a podiatrist or chiropodist? In conjunction with Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists Written October 2016

Sport Rehabilitators (GSR’s) are specialist musculoskeletal (MSK) health care providers and understanding of how they can help people is growing quickly. GSR’s specialise in assessment, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of a wide range of MSK conditions in both general and athletic populations from amateur to elite level. Their focus is on designing and implementing effective rehabilitation plans that allow people to return to work, sport or their daily activities with ease. Sport Rehabilitation is a “Graduate only”profession. This means that all GSR’s are educated to a minimum of BSc (hons)degree level at an accredited institution.During their programme of study undergraduates learn the fundamental skills and knowledge in a variety of areas including: Anatomy and Physiology, Musculoskeletal Assessment, Musculoskeletal Conditions, Functional Rehabilitation, Strength and Conditioning, Sports Massage, Manual Therapy, Injury Prevention and Immediate Pitch Side Care. The difference between a Sport Rehabilitator and Physiotherapist is that a Physiotherapist has had a much wider spectrum of training including: paediatrics, neurological conditions, cardio-respiratory disease and orthopaedics. This means that Physiotherapists have not focused as much on sport and exercise related injuries in their undergraduate training as GSRs. BASRaT hold a register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority forHealth and Social Care. This means that registrants of BASRaT (GSR’s) are regulated by the organisation. They must adhere to a strict code of conduct and are required to complete a minimum amount of Continued Professional Development each year. As a regulator BASRaT has a responsibility to protect the public and ensure that each person who sees a Sport Rehabilitator is able to do so in confidence. As part of this process BASRaT have a “register check” function on the website whereby members of the public can check the registration status of any individual. The register check function also allows members of the public to see any Fitness to Practice cases brought against a registrant. The online search is available at www.basrat.org/membercheck/index/falseFor more information about Sport Rehabilitation as a profession, or as BASRaT as a regulator you can visit the BASRaT website. In addition to the information on the website you will also find contact details for the BASRaT office, please feel free to make contact with any questions you may have. www.basrat.org/Find your nearest treatment provider hereLike us on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix

What is a sports rehabilitator? Written October 2016

 When I was a child, asthma prevented me from running, so I grew up quite content with walking as my main exercise and cycling for when I wanted to push myself a bit harder and faster.In my early sixties, however, my life changed. I found myself with a new partner, Ruth, whose family were heavily into triathlons, up to and including the awesome @IRONMANtri. In 6 months’ time there would be a big family participation in the Human Race Garmin Eton “supersprint”, consisting of a 400k swim, 20k bike and 5k run. At first I resolutely stuck to my cycling, but then I fell off and broke my arm. No cycling possible for many weeks, but swimming would be an obvious therapy for the broken arm, so I thought why not also take up running and then a triathlon might after all be possible Wary of making a fool of myself in public, and also of re-igniting an old Achilles injury, I was ultra-cautious. With my arm still in a sling, without even a pair of trainers, I experimented at home. My flat was in a converted  Victorian villa – two large rooms connected by a small corridor. I worked out that if I placed a chair in the centre of each room, then one figure-of-eight circuit around both chairs measured exactly 25 metres. So 4 circuits would be 100m, 20 circuits 500m, 40 circuits a full kilometre. Jogging bare-foot on the carpet, increasing the distance each day, I was able to demonstrate to myself after a couple of weeks that in fact I could run without problems.Now was the time for a little expense – a trip to Up And Running in Bristol to get fitted with a good pair of running shoes. Then it was out onto the road. I had always been struck by the advice of Countryfile presenter Matt Baker : “Keep a pair of trainers by your bedside. First thing in the morning, put them on, go out into the street and run for 5 minutes, turn around and run home – hey presto, you’ve run a mile!”. So I did just that, exploring the bays and headlands of Clevedon about 3 times a week. Although I had plenty of encouragement from surprised friends and family, my preference at this stage was always to run alone, so as never to be tempted to run too fast. I measured out a couple of 5k circuits and used a stopwatch to record my times, spurred on by the steady improvements. My sons then took me in hand and got me doing hill-training: run gently uphill for exactly 2 minutes, mark the spot, jog back down, then run back up again a little bit faster, repeat until exhausted. Sure enough, my 5k times improved.The arm healed, I was able to build up the swimming (simple breast-stroke) to the required 16 lengths of the pool, but there was another hurdle to overcome: my first Triathlon would be at Eton, with the swim not in a cosy heated pool but outdoors in Lake Dorney, one of the venues for the London Olympics. In early May, that would be COLD. So time for more expense – down to TRI UK’s enormous hangar of a shop in Yeovil to buy a wetsuit. I went all that way because in theory you could try them out first in a pool swimming against a current; however the practicalities of taking several suits on and off, and the risk of damage, meant that the shop really only wanted you to try out the one suit that you were likely to buy.Now came the painful part – testing the wetsuit in open water in April. Mad Mike’s old windsurfing lake just outside Bradley Stoke now advertises itself for open-water swimming. Noting the absence of lifeguard, I nervously asked what one is supposed to do if one gets into trouble in the water – the simple answer was “Stand Up!”- the lake is only 5ft deep . The water that day was 11 degrees. Yes, the wetsuit keeps you warm, but not your feet or hands, and when you try to swim properly the cold water numbs your face. The constriction of the wetsuit, and its unexpected buoyancy, completely bamboozled me at first – I simply could not make forward progress. Encouraged by Ruth’s son-in-law Rob, I persevered.  Keeping my head high out of the water, I struggled very slowly round the 400m marked course, then ran for the hot showers.Spot the grey-bearded author pre raceFinally the big day came for my first actual race. It was my new stepson’s 40th birthday, and he had invited a large contingent of family and friends to take part, including his mother whose birthday it was too. We had decided to avoid the serious competition by all entering together, young and old, fit and unfit, in a “Mates’ Wave” start.Wetsuits on, into the water we jumped. Yup, it was indeed COLD. Infuriatingly, we had to hang about treading water for a good 10 minutes while they gave us a race briefing which could easily have been done on dry land. When the Off came, I carefully position myself at the back so as not to have anyone swim over me ( I had heard too many horror stories of what happens in Ironman mass starts) and slowly work my way around the course in my own time. My sons Andy & Malc are on the bank cheering me on, and as I am last in the wave I have my own personal safety kayak accompanying me, so I can chat with the kayaker too. Unbeknown to me, Rob is winding up the crowd at the finish of the swim, pointing me out and explaining it is my first attempt. So as I stagger to try to get out of the water, it is to loud cheers. I find that really heartening.Relief or enjoyment?Once on the bike, again big cheers for me every time I come round past the swim finish. Crowd support can make such a difference! I actually manage to overtake one other rider, but am unable to hold on when we hit the wind at the far end of the lake, so I go into the run still in last position. I come up alongside another runner and we encourage each other onward, but then she peels off to finish – she’s a whole lap ahead of me. Somehow I struggle round that final lap to a grand reception committee at the finish and then a nice surprise – despite finishing last, I find out that as I am the only competitor in that wave in my 65-70 age category, I have actually also come first. As one of those other competitors happened to be Jenson Button, I can truthfully say that I raced against Jenson Button and I came first! Like us on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix

First triathlon aged 64 by Nigel Sloan Written September 2016

Once you've decided you need to see someone about your injury it can be confusing to know who to go with as there are various different professions that can help and you may not be familiar with them. In our survey in 2017 just 17% said it was easy to find a good treatment provider.  Our survey at the National Running Show in 2018 showed that 55% of people thought it was hard or very hard to find good treatment. The focus of Sports Injury Fix is not on any one profession it is on highlighting professionally trained people that can help you so it's easier for you to find good treatment.  Use Sports Injury Fix to see which specialists, therapists and sports injury clinics are in the area that's convenient for you, what they specialise in and what is written about them.All of the professions listed on Sports Injury Fix are trained to help with sports injuries.  If you have friends who can provide a recommendation for any of them then that is a bonus.  What works for one person may not be the same for another, particularly if it's a different injury so take your time and feel free to contact and meet more than one provider. Do not commit to paying for multiple sessions if you do not feel confident in them. It can be invaluable to find someone who has expertise in your sport and/or your injury to maximise your chances of a quick recovery. You can do a tailored search for this on the website. In our experience you know when you click with the right person and they seem to telepathically understand your problems and body.  Don't expect an instant fix though, it generally requires you to commit to doing whatever rehabilitation plan you're given! QualificationsPhysiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors and podiatrists are all regulated and have to meet minimum standards for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health.In order to operate in the UK by law physiotherapists and podiatrists are required to be registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), Osteopaths with the General Osteopathic Council and Chiropractors with the General Chiropractic Council.For professions that aren't regulated such as Sports Therapy, Sports Rehabilitation or Sports Massage then you should seek to use a provider that is a member of an industry association such as the Sports Therapy Association, British Association of Sports Rehabilitators & Trainers, or  Sports Massage Association that help set and maintain high standards.  Advanced qualifications and experience definitely help but sometimes a newly qualified enthusiastic person can be spot on too as well as tending to be a bit cheaper.Always check that their qualifications and insurance are up to date and all of the associations will let you search on their website to confirm members details. ReviewsWe only want responsible and professional specialists on Sports Injury Fix and thus if you have a bad experience then please let us know.  Please write a review of whoever you choose to help inform the decisions of others. Happy searching! Like us on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix

Key points to help you choose a treatment provider for your sports injury Written September 2016

Sports Therapy focuses on the prevention of injury and the rehabilitation back to functional, occupational and/or sports specific fitness, whatever your age or sporting ability.It is based on the principles of sport and exercise sciences, including physiological and pathological processes, focusing on musculoskeletal and soft tissue rehabilitation. There are many similarities to physiotherapy and shared training however a  physiotherapist's training will include wider healthcare aspects whereas a sports therapist will tend to focus exclusively in the sports and exercise field. A Sports Therapist has the knowledge, skills and ability to: • utilise sports and exercise principles to optimise performance, preparation and to reduce injury potential• provide the immediate care of injuries and basic life support• assess, treat and, where appropriate, refer on for specialist advice and intervention• provide appropriate sport and remedial massage• plan and implement tailored rehabilitation programmesSports therapy is an unregulated profession meaning the 'Sports Therapist' title is not protected and thus it is worth looking for a therapist that is a member of an association such as the Sports Therapy Association. The Sports Therapy Association is described by its founder Gary Benson as "an independent and ethical association without bias that is committed to lobbying for positive change, raising standards across the industry and progressing opportunities for members. They work tirelessly in order to promote excellence in the field of Sports Therapy. "Find your nearest one on www.sportsinjuryfix.comLike us on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix

What is Sports Therapy? Written September 2016

Deciding whether a niggle or a pain warrants a visit to a doctor, or a specialist such as a physio can be tricky. You have four options options.1) Do nothingIt's surprising how many times people ignore a pain or a niggle hoping it will 'go away' particularly if there's a big game or event coming up and they can't afford to miss any training. Sometimes you can 'run off' a niggle or stiffness but more often than not then pushing through causes worse problems in the long run and a higher chance of you missing the game or event you were aiming for.Positives: Free and easyNegatives: Rarely effective and can lead to worse problems.2) Self TreatYou can try and treat yourself from the latest exercises you've found on the Internet. If you know your body this can be a good option. It is a bit more hit and miss and only treats the symptoms but can be worth trying for a week or two.Positives: Free and can be effectiveNegatives: Can just treat symptoms rather than root cause, can take longer than seeing a specialist.3) GPA GP only has ten minutes and will likely refer you to an NHS physio although sometimes you can self refer. Either way waiting times tend to vary by area. If you're lucky you'll get a physio like my cousin in Glasgow who is an ironman triathlete and truly understands sporting injuries. Other times you may get someone who doesn't understand your sport or unfortunately as its a free service simply doesn't have the time to be able to understand the true cause and just gives you a list of generic exercises to try and alleviate the symptoms. Positives: Free and can be very effectiveNegatives: Hit and miss with level of understanding of sports injuries and time to understand root cause.  Waiting times can vary.4) SpecialistIf you want to have the greatest chance of finding someone that understands your sport, the injury you have and can treat both the symptoms and the cause then see a specialist.You can research who is in your area and choose the best person for you. Appointments are typically 45-60 minutes which gives them the time to get to the root cause of the issue and they will likely pick up other areas of tension that you didn't realise you had.Positives: Quick to get appointment, they have the time to understand the problem and you can choose who you want to see.Negatives: Costs money and it can be hard to know who is worth paying for. In summary you are not limited to one of these options. It's worth bearing in mind though that your body does need looking after. Regular servicing to check it's all working well and stopping tight spots becoming injuries is time and money well spent let alone when you're actually injured. Alternatively you can try which ever option suits your circumstances best and can change if it doesn't work. Like us on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfix

When should you see someone about your niggle, pain or injury? Written September 2016

You may have heard a lot of different things about Kinesiology Tape - that mysterious coloured tape worn by athletes all over the world. But what to actually believe - does it work, and if so, how?Kinesiology tape can be used to help treat many different sporting injuries - such as runners knee, shoulder pain, arm pump and tennis elbow. The current research on when, how and why kinesiology taping works is still limited in terms of controlled research trials but it’s popularity is increasingly incredibly quickly due to the number of people having felt it gives good results.  Some studies have shown incredible results in pain relief, muscular contraction force and range of motion (some links to a small selection below) but more is needed. SPORTTAPE were the official supplier of kinesiology tape to Team GB at London 2012 and have seen and experienced the positive effects of kinesiology tape when trying to support and aid weakened muscular structures when returning from injury (of which we've had a fair few between us over the last couple of years) and in lymphatic drainage (think bruising and swelling, the perfect example is dead leg). To put simply, we know it works, but right now no-one is 100% sure how.     The fact is that Kinesiology taping will not change the pathologic nature of tissue - it's not going to change your musculoskeletal structure - so must be working in other ways. We have theorized that the most likely response to taping is a sensory nervous system response to a stimulus of the stretch receptors in your skin. This has the potential to increase motor control and provide immediate pain relief. Some of the best responses we've seen have been through lymphatic drainage, you may have seen the thin wavy pattered taping method. This taping method gives a slight lift to the skin, creating the above mentioned neurosensory response and promoting lymphatic flow below the skin. These photos were taken 24 hours apart by one of our SPORTTAPE PRO's - Rex Physiotherapy.. You can see how the tape has helped to clear the bruising quickly.Most often we have found that the success of a taping application comes down to many different things. It can certainly help as part of the prevention and recovery process, but understanding it's limitations is essential too. The first step is to understand the reasoning behind the application, and that is where your medical professional comes in. They will be able to help deduce the root cause of your injury and whether kinesiology taping can and should be used as part of your recovery process, or to prevent any further injury. They'll also be able to help you apply the tape yourself, making sure you use the right balance of stretch and cuts to treat the injury. The good news is, if you're doing it yourself you can't really get it wrong - we actively encourage experimentation and the worst that can happen is that the tape has no effect.For more information visit http://www.sporttape.co.uk/pages/sporttape-faqsIeuan ThomasSPORTTAPELike SportsInjuryFix on Facebook here and follow us on twitter @sportsinjuryfixLinks to positive studies(1) Kaplan et al (2016) Short-Term Effects of Kinesio Taping in Women with Pregnancy-Related Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trialhttp://www.medscimonit.com/download/index/idArt/898353(2) Chen et al. (2008) Biomechanics Effects of Kinesio Taping for Persons with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome During Stair Climbinghttp://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-540-69139-6_100(3) Taradaj et al (2010) Evaluation of the effectiveness of kinesio taping application in a patient with secondary lymphedema in breast cancer: a case report(4) Chan et a. Effects of KT on the timing and ratio of VMO and Vastus Lateralis with PF Painhttps://isbweb.org/images/conf/2007/ISB/0216.pdf(5) González-Iglesias et al (2009) Short-term effects of cervical KT on pain and cervical range of motion in patients with acute whiplash                                     http://www.jospt.org/doi/pdf/10.2519/jospt.2009.3072

What is Kinesiology Tape and How Does it Work? Written June 2016

Guest blog by Pete from BrixtonIt was a high point in my running career. London marathon second time round. Eyeing up a fast time. Training had been... well, good until the last few weeks when my 'gentle taper' was replaced in my schedule with 'abrupt taper' (2 weeks, no running) as a shin issue bit. But I got to the start line feeling good. I went out hard. Too hard it turns out (think half marathon PB hard) and I paid the price in the latter part of the race. But as I hit the final three miles the crowd started going wild. Really wild. Wow, I thought. I must look good. Then Paula Radcliffe's camera motorbike nearly ran me over from behind and all became clear, but as Paula passed me I kicked. I'd escaped near death under a cambikes wheels; I owed it to myself to push on. And besides, 'I just beat the women's world record holder in the marathon' makes a far better status update than 'I almost got run down by the world record holders entourage and came in behind her'. And I did it. Crossed the line for a new PB. And then... I couldn't walk. I stopped and couldn't start again in anything other than a lopsided hobble. And for the next month I continued to hobble. Stubbornly refusing to seek help (shell out my hard earned cash). Finally sense overcame frugality and I went to my local physio. The treatment was long overdue. There was something wrong with my glute, my hip flexors were tight, and I needed to strengthen my abductors. The 'manipulation' was painful, but delivered what I needed. I did the exercises, they helped; I had more manipulation, it helped. And slowly my slanty walking became a natural stroll and I could run for a bus rather than doddering towards one.  Then the physio I had been with left the practice and I couldn't really face trying to either try another person with no knowledge of what they'd be like or spend the time doing the research to dig out another practice nearby that truly understood marathon running injuries and start all over again. So I left it. And of course I relapsed. My recovery has been a lot slower as a result, though I'm finally getting back to it. But this is 12 months after crossing the line. The physio was a good thing (and hindsight is even better); but I should have gone sooner. I should have gone back. I wish SportsInjuryFix.com was around then as the convenience together with the tailored approach to a specific injury at the very earliest stage makes it far more likely I'll get help the next time I push too hard in the name of a good status update!Many thanks to Pete from Brixton for sharing his story. If you’ve got a good article to share then please contact us at info@sportsinjuryfix.com

Pushing yourself to an injury for a status update Written June 2016